Decoupage has written 9 reviews for films rated ★★ .

  • Woman Unveiled

    Woman Unveiled

    It's always nice to see Setsuko Hara and Kyoko Kagawa, but I'll be honest, this was nauseating-- dialogue heavy with direction and editing not to my taste.

  • Sound of the Mountain

    Sound of the Mountain

    I have to admit I don't get most of Naruse's cinema. It seems like 50 different shades of indulgent soapbox for women to crawl in and commiserate about their unfair suffering. Repast was the one Setsuko Hara - Mikio Naruse collaboration I loved because the main character actually had some subversive spirit.

    Here in The Sound of the Mountain, Hara's character just suffers, and suffers, and then she suffers some more. There's seemingly no end to her suffering, because there's…

  • Mother's Melody

    Mother's Melody

    Vastly inferior rip-off of Barbara Stanwyck's Stella Dallas released earlier that same year. This was Setsuko Hara's first star vehicle role at the new Toho Studios, and her voice seems stronger here, either she was more confident or she received training while on her world tour to promote The Daughter of the Samurai in 1937.

    Setsuko compares favorably to Anne Shirley as the main character is moved from the mother to the daughter role, but there's nothing like Barbara Stanwyck's performance, and Satsuo Yamamoto's direction crosses the line into abrasively distracting.

  • Where Now Are the Dreams of Youth?

    Where Now Are the Dreams of Youth?

    One of my least favorite Ozu's and the last of his mopey early 1930s films. The awful ending may have been a temperamental reaction towards the studio for trying to fix a false happy ending onto the end of I Was Born, But ...

    Ureo Egawa was a particularly unlikeable lead.

  • The Lady and the Beard

    The Lady and the Beard

    This was actually a blockbuster hit for Ozu in 1931 Japan. Much of the comedy has to be explained to a modern audience (which makes it not funny anymore) but the farcical kendo fighter with a beard demonstrates Ozu's need to keep reaching for laughs after directing or being involved in the production of dozens and dozens of student youth films. College kids failing their classes just wasn't that funny anymore.

  • I Flunked, But...

    I Flunked, But...

    The one and only Ozu film where I might describe his direction as lazy. There are some humorous gags in I Flunked, But ... however the comedy grows stale in much the same way that Ozu seemed tired and bored with the youth comedies he was known for at the end of the decade. Was he yearning for more? Another reviewer used the term 'mopey' to describe the adult drama, and I would agree that's an apt word to use.…

  • Woman of Tokyo

    Woman of Tokyo

    Supposedly formally accomplished, but I remember very little visually about this film. Yoshiko Okada was great, there's a nice little scene of her in front of a mirror after she's just been assaulted by her brother.

    Other than that, I found Kinuyo Tanaka's performance average and the Ureo Egawa just as unlikeable as in Where Now Are The Dreams of Youth? To be fair to him, his character here was written so terribly and isn't fleshed out.

  • The Lady and the Beard

    The Lady and the Beard

    ★★

    Probably more funny to contemporary Japanese audiences. Upon further research I can see how much of the comedy can be lost on modern viewers, and reminds me how practically all comedy fades over time.

    That said, I thought the genre blending was a horrible misfire, compared to the same successful approach Ozu applied in Walk Cheerfully.

    The film just gets too busy at the end.

  • I Flunked, But...

    I Flunked, But...

    ★★

    Some of the visual cheating gags were pretty good, but otherwise this felt more like a bland sitcom and was boring to watch.